JIS News

The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has outlined its plans to facilitate the development of Portland as a model resort area.
Valued at $15 million, Phase one of the development project is expected to be completed by December 10, 2005 and will see some 400 persons gaining employment.The plans were discussed at a press conference held at the company’s head office on Knutsford Boulevard in Kingston, recently.
Highlighting the efforts of TPDCo to build relationships with the local authorities in Portland, Chairman, Audrey Marks stressed the need to ensure the parish’s future sustainability as a resort area.
She explained that efforts are currently underway to improve and develop facilities and attractions in the parish in preparation for the upcoming winter tourist season, as some 13 vessels are expected to arrive in the parish with approximately 30,000 passengers on board.
Among the plans to be implemented are: the improvement of major attractions; the erection of appropriate signage at major entrances to the towns, roadways, at attractions and places of interest; the establishment of information booths for visitors; the development of brochures, video clips and other marketing materials to promote the attractions.
The TPDCo will also collaborate with the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) to promote the town locally and internationally; facilitate the training of local residents as tour guides and tourism ambassadors; and build relationships with relevant agencies, local authorities and stakeholders in the community to facilitate improvement, build commitment and create ownership.
“The emphasis on developing Portland has multiple benefits and will not only improve the overall visitor experience but will also provide a greater economic benefit for the people of Portland, and encourage tourist spending,” the Chairman said.
In phase one of the development project, emphasis will be placed on some 11 attractions. Secretary Manager of the Portland Parish Council, Franklyn Smith outlined the various attractions/areas that will be developed under phase one.
He spoke of the beautification of Cenotaph square and the painting of buildings in the commercial square, explaining that the Port Authority, Chamber of Commerce, local business community and the local authority would be spearheading this project, which would “generate short term employment among Portlanders”.
Mr. Smith identified plans to upgrade facilities at the Musgrave Market, the Rio Grande, Long Bay Beach and Boston Jerk Centre and Beach, with the establishment of a travel halt at the jerk centre. He added that training and uniforms would be provided for the raftsmen and the operators at the jerk centre. In addition, there would be heritage/walking tours at the Folly Ruins and off Titchfield Hill.